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Sussala (b. 1072- r.1112-1127 AD) of Lohara family was the King of Kashmir for 15 years 3 months and 14 days. He reigned Kashmir in 1113–1120 and 1120–1127. He was deposed by Bhikshachara in 1120, but restored shortly afterwards. He died in 1127. He was Malla's son and brother of Uchchala. Sussala's son was Mallarjjuna who was annotated King of Kotta, when in the year 6 (=1130 AD), on the thirteenth day of the bright moon, in the month of Phalguna, Lothana was deprived of his kingdom.

Sussala in the Genealogy of Nara

Rajatarangini[1] provides us following Genealogy of Nara:

Genealogy of Nara, King of Darvabhisara

Formerly at Darvvabhisara there lived a king named Nara of the Gotra of Bharadvaja, who had a son named Naravahana, and Naravahana had a son named Phulla. Phulla had a son named Sarthavahana, his son was Chandana, and Chandana had two sons, Gopala and Sinharaja, Sinharaja had several children, his daughter Didda was married to Kshemagupta. Didda made Sanggramaraja (son of her brother Udayaraja) king. She had another brother, Kantiraja, and he had a son named Jassaraja, Sanggramaraja had a son named Ananta, while of Jassaraja were born Tanvangga and Gungga. Ananta's son was Kalasharaja, and of Gungga was born Malla. Kalasha's son is king Harshadeva, and Malla's sons were Uchchala and Sussala.


The Damaras became riotous, and Harsha ordered the lord of Mandala to massacre them. [2]

Uchchala and Sussala sons of Malla rose against Harsha. [3]

Harsha's son Bhojadeva died before the king in rebellion. [4]

Uchchala, who had been, to Hiranyapura, was coronated by Brahmanas there.[5]

Harsha spent his last days in great sorrow and was killed by Damaras.[6]

Bhikshachara was grandson of Harsha of Kashmir. He put himself at the head of Damaras and drove away Sussala and became king in 1120 but he deisgraced himself by his debauchery. There arose a popular outcry and Sussala re-occupied the throne in 1121 AD. Sussala , however, could not dispose off Bhikshachara who made repeated attempts to regain the throne. For years Kashmir witnessed a series of factious fights in which Damaras played a leading role. In 1123 AD Sussala abdicated in favour of his son Jaysimha while retaining all powers in his hand. In 1128 AD Sussala was treacherously murdered. [7]

Sussala became king in 1112 AD

Rajatarangini[8] tells us that When Sanjapala who was approaching Kashmira to attack it was yet at a distance, the king (Salhana) was induced by the citizens and the Damaras to go and meet him. Sahelaka left Salhana promising to establish peace between him and Sussala. The citizens went over to the good king Sussala and eagerly watched his rising power.

Chhuḍḍa, wife of Garga, came with her two daughters to Sussala to marry them. King Sussala married Rajalakshmi, the elder of the two, and married her younger sister Gunalekhā, to his son.

When Sanjapala came and surrounded Salhana who was with his younger brother, king Sussala came from his court and arrived at the Simha gate of the palace. One of the enemy's servants closed the door in Sussala's sight but failed to capture him as he had intended. The enemy with his soldiers was shut up within the palace, but the army of Sussala feared an attack from Garga. They had no confidence in Garga though he had married

[p.40]: his daughter to Sussala ; and they remained therefore in constant fear, being alarmed even at the motion of a grass. As the day expired, the army thus stood panic struck, but Sussala, out of pity for them, burnt down the strong position occupied by the enemy. Sanjapala entered the palace by moonlight through the straight gate facing the village, and opened the gate and fought with the soldiers who were in, the court-yard. Tilaka apprehended that Sanjapala's death was inevitable amidst the enemy's soldiers within the palace and therefore followed him. Keshava also who was brought from Darad by Sanjapala fought equally well with Sanjapala at the dreadful fight that took place at Kashtavata. Thus Tilaka and Keshava followed Sanjapala in the fight as Satyaki and Bhima followed Arjuna when the king of Sindhu was seeking for an encounter with him. Though beaten, they with difficulty opened the gate of the court-yard, when king Sussala himself entered. The two forces mingled with each other in the fight and many perished in the court-yard. Ajjaka, the minister of king Salha, perished in the fight. He was born in the village of Patamga. Rudra, a Kayastha, who was made a treasurer, now fell in the battle and showed himself worthy of his master's favor. King Sussala shouted as he rode on his horse. When

[p.41]: he was in the court-yard and had not yet seated himself on the throne, the voice of "Victory to Sussala," and the sound of drums were heard. In the family of Mallaraja, the, honor that was lost by Salhana and Lothana was won back again. Sussala embraced Salhana and Lothana who were on their horses, and clad in mail and addressed them both calling them as "boy" and "youth" and cunningly caused them to be disarmed. He then secured them and ordered them to be removed to another house. Thus he got the kingdom and entered the court. Salhana was captured after a reign of four months! minus three days, on the third day of bright moon in the month of Vaishakha of the year 88 (=1112 AD[9]). 1112

Sussala becomes king second time in 1121 AD

Rajatarangini[10] tells....The common people become enemies or friends in a moment, they are like brutes and have no regard for reason. The king (Sussala) came out of his kingdom (Lohara); and Mallakoshta, Janaka and others made him prepare himself for conquest. When the people plundered Akshasuva, a village belonging to Tikka and inhabited by Brahmanas, the Brahmanas there commenced mystic rites. The Brahmanas who dwelt in other Brahmana villages came to Vijayeshvara and to the neighbourhood of the Rājāna garden in the capital. Instigated by Ojānanda and other chief Brahmanas, the Brahmanas who were in the temple, even at Gokula, commenced to perform rites. Many images of gods were placed on vehicles and adorned with white umbrellas and clothes and chamaras from all sides covered the yard ; and the sounds of kāhalā, kaṃsya and tāla resounded on all sides. Thus there was seen an assembly of Brahmanas the like of which was never seen before. When the king's messengers went to silence them, they proudly said that they had no help except in the Long Beard.

[p.78]: They indicated king Sussala by speaking of the Long Beard, and they regarded him as a plaything. The Brahmanas concerted various plans with the citizens who came day by day to see the magic performed. The Brahmanas and the citizens who feared an attack from the king every moment were prepared for fight. Janaka Simha advised that the king should be brought into the city. To prevent the Brahmanas from performing the magic, the king went to Vijayakshetra, but he failed in his object. In the meantime Tilaka advised him to kill all the Damaras, but the king did not accept his advice. When the Lavanyas (Damaras) heard that the king had declined the proposal, they were pleased, but Prithvihara and others became afraid of Tilaka.

The king wished to imprison the haughty Lakshaka the charioteer, son of Prayaga's sister, but he escaped and went to Sussala. Then after killing many men, the king entered the capital and gave audience to the citizens who became vexed with him without cause. Even when the king spoke reasonably, the evil-minded citizens silenced him. There is no medicine for those who are bent on rebellion.

In the meantime Somapala, Vimba and others who were at Lohara came to Parnotsa to fight with king Sussala. Padmaratha, king of Kalinjara, remembered his friendship with Sussala, as he was born of the same family, and came with Kahla and others. The proud Sussala with his strong men came on the thirteenth

[p.79]: bright lunar day of Vaishakha and fought with the enemy. Those who have seen this great battle near Parnotsa describe it to this day. Sussala first wiped his disgrace in this engagement. From that day Sussala's natural vigour returned to him, as the lion returns to the forest. The Turushka soldiers dropped their ropes in fear and were destroyed by Sussala within a short time. Sussala also killed the maternal uncle of Somapala in the battle on the banks of the river Vitola. Though Sussala's army was smaller, yet he defeated tho enemies, killed them and made them flee, and they impeded one another in flight. How commendable the actions of the Kashmirians ! They fought against one of their masters, and spread evil reports of another ! When Somapala with the Turushkas had gone, the shameless Kashmirians left Vimba and went over to Sussala. They were not ashamed on that day to bend their heads to him against whom they had openly bent their bows on the preceding day. Accompanied by the Damaras and citizens who came to him, Sussala, in two or three days, marched towards Kashmira.

The Rajpoot Kahlana, son of Sahadeva, collected the Damaras who were at Kramarajya and advanced towards the king. The same Vimba who was the first to leave Sussala's army to go over to Bhikshu, now left Bhikshu and joined Sussala. Other ministers and Tantris of Janakasimha's army returned to Sussala

[p.80]: without a scruple. One warrior born in the village of Kānḍiletra had begun fasting (magic) at Bhangila, a lonely place ; and Bhikshu, whose men had now come over to Sussala, came with Prithvihara to over-come this man. He succeeded in his effort and then wished to destroy Janakasimha who was going over to Sussala. But Janakasimha heard of Bhikshachara's intention, and being then in the capital he collected and incited many citizens, horsemen and Tantris against Bhikshu. Bhikshu knew that the tumult was raised by Janakasimha, and he with Prithvihara suddenly entered the capital. Though Janakasimha was advised not to fight, still he fought with the army of Bhikshachara on the bridge before Sadashiva. There the proud soldiers of Janakasimha were unexpectedly defeated. Prithvihara accompanied by Alaka, his, brother's son, crossed over by another bridge and destroyed the enemy's army. When the citizens, the horsemen and the Tantris fled, Janakasimha with his friends fled at night and went to Lohara. Bikshu and Prithvihara pursued him in the morning and at their request, the horsemen and others joined them in the pursuit. The Brahmanas who were fasting (performing magic) hastily threw away the images of gods and fled leaving their work behind. Bhikshu did not molest those who guarded the empty temples as they told him that they had ceased from performing magic. We meet with surprise even to this day, many horsemen who served Janakasimha one day and Bhikshachara on the next day.

[p.81]: The transcion glory of Bhikshachara shed a lustre on the fame of his wife's brother ; for to him he gave the wealth which belonged to his father Tilakasimha. When Janakasimha had fled, Bhikshu broke down the houses of those who had set themselves against him. When Sulhaṇa, Vimba and others had with their large armies defeated Tilaka at Hushkapura, Sussala was seen by the enemies approaching by the Lohara road after two or three days, with Mallakoshta, Janaka &c., and their army in front, and with many petty chieftains in his rear. The horseman who had rebelled against Sussala issued out by the way that runs along the shops of the capital. On some of them he frowned, his eyes quivering with rage and his nose extended, some he , pierced and some he killed. On the citizens who had opposed him before, and now blessed him and threw flowers at him, he looked with indifference. His coat of mail was listlessly thrown over his shoulder, his turban covered his hair full of dust, his sword rested in the scabbard, and he rode among the horsemen with their drawn sword. A garland of flowers hung round his neck ; and amidst loud shouts and sounds of bheri which filled all sides, Sussala entered the capital. Ho returned after six months and twelve days, on the third bright lunar day of Jyaishtha in the year 97. Before entering the kingdom, Sussala with the Lavanyas searched for and found Bhikshachara who had fled to the banks of the Kshiptika and with Prithvihara had

[p.82]: gone over to the other side of the Stream. Sussala met other Lavanyas on the way and returned. He entered the capital after driving out Bhikshachara and capturing the wounded Simha, a relative of Prithvihara. The capital, like a harlot, still bore marks of the enemy's possession and was therefore painful to the eyes of the proud Sussala. Movements of Prithvihara and Bhikshu:

Leaving Kashmira, Bhikshu with Prithvihara and others went to the village of Pushpānaḍa which was in the possession of Somapala. The king went and subdued all the Damaras and placed Malla, son of Vatta, at Kheri and Harshamitra at Kampana. Those who had heedlessly acted against him did not receive his mercy now.

The king was extremely jealous of Bhikshu and could not brook any trace of him, and bestowed the country in small portions on his own servants. The Damaras who had gained prosperity by wrong means would not yield their possessions and did not give up their plans of rebellion, even through fear of the angry king. Bhikshu, deprived of his kingdom, lived in the possession, of his friend Somapala and was encouraged by the gifts and the honor bestowed on him by his host. Vimba, with a view to obtain help, went to Vismaya, and was there surrounded by his enemies and fell fighting. On the death of Vimba, Bhikshachayra adopted the policy of taking Vimba's wife into his family and felt no shame.

The hero Prithvihara fell on Purapura, and though he had a small army, he defeated the son of Vatta and made

[p.83]: him flee from battle. When he had fled, Prithvi brought out- Bhikshu again, and, at the desire of his wild followers, entered Madava. Joined by Marikha, Yajya and other Damaras who dwelt there, he marched to Vijayakshetra in order to overcome the lord of Kampana.

Defeat of the king Sussala — Renewal of war

Rajatarangini[11] tells us that when Sussala became king of Kashmir second time in 1121 AD he had to face defeat but continued the renewal of war. .... Although the king Sussala's army was destroyed, yet with twenty or thirty men of the royal blood and of his own country, Sussala faced the enemies.

Udaya and Dhanyaka, Kshatriyas, born of Ichchhita family, and Udayabrahma and Jajjala, lords of Champa and Vallapura; Tejahsalhana, the chief of the Hamsa family, who lived at Harihaḍa, and Savyaraja and others of Kshatrikabhinjika ; Nila and others, sons of Viḍāla, born of the family of Bhāvuka ; Ramapala of Sahaja and his young son ; — these and other warriors of renowned

[p.93]: families were eager for the well contested battle, and opposed on all sides the enemies who besieged the city.

Rilhana who was, as if he was the king's son, first advanced in battle accompanied by Vijaya and other horse men. As an iron mail defended his arm, so the energetic king protected Sujji and Prajji who were well versed in battle. The king who had shared his kingdom with them was now, in this time of peril, able by their help, to sustain the weight of his misfortunes. Bhagika, Sharadbhasi, Mummuni, Mungata, Kalasha and other men of the king's party harassed the enemies. Kamalaya, son of Lavaraja king of Takka, took the king's side in this war. (VIII,p.92-93)

Murder of the king Sussala 1127 AD

Rajatarangini[12] tells us....At the time of Murder of the king Sussala in 1127 AD, Sahajapala, the ornament of the line of Bhavuka, of superior prowess among the spiritless servants of the king, ran with sword and shield ; and when the rebels saw him, they went out by a side way. But this powerful man was wounded by their servants, and he fell on the ground. The shame of the Rajpoots was washed by his blood. The learned Nona went before them, and though a native of the country, resembled the Rajpoots in person, and so they mistook him for Rajpoot and killed him. When the soldiers saw the rebels go towards the village unwounded, they did not pursue them in anger, but remained stationary like painted figures. The fat bodied Rajpoots, beloved of the king, kept themselves quiet, and crowded in the courtyard which was a while ago deserted. It has been a burden to us to speak of these cowardly men from the time of king Harsha of Kashmir. We dare not pronounce the names of these sinful men through fear of contamination with their sins, and out of grief. Thinking it an act of great manliness to walk from the courtyard to the house, some of the principal men among these sinful people went to see their murdered master. They saw the king, his teeth pressed on his lower lip over which the blood was issuing and which seemed to be quivering, as if the king was giving utterance to his grief at his being deceived.

Rajatarangini[13] tells us ...At the time of Murder of the king Sussala in 1127 AD, They (Rajputs) did not do anything befitting the occasion; they only said " enjoy the fruit of being alone ;" and thus reproached him. They did not take him on horse or on carriage, nor could they burn him, for they fled to save their own lives. Nor was the body placed by any one afterwards on wood and burnt ; each took one of king's horses and fled ; and the soldiers, as they went into villages, were plundered by the Damaras. On the way which was covered with snow, neither sons protected their fathers, nor fathers saved their sons, whether they died or were killed or plundered. There was no warrior who thought of his dignity when menaced by his enemies on the road, and did not cast away his clothes and arms. But three died bravely. They were Lavaraja and Yashoraja, two Brahmanas who were well up in gymnastics, and Kāndaraja. Utpala and others saw from the neighbourhood, the soldiers thus fleeing and they entered the house, cut off the head of the king and took it away. When they had gone to Devasarasa, the headless king, like a murdered thief, became an object of sight to the villagers. Thus in the year 3, in the month of phalguna, on the day of the new moon, was the king killed by treason, at the age of 55 years.

Burning of the four queens of King Sussala

Rajatarangini[14] tells....Four queens took this opportunity of the enemy's weakness and set out to follow the late king to the next world. Fearing interruption, however, from an attack of the enemy, and deterred also by the exhaustion of their servants, they could not go to the distant Pitrikānana, but were quickly consumed near the temple of Skanda, not far from the palace. Queens Devalekha born at Champa and her mother-in-law Taralalekha, Rupollekha, and the accomplished Jajvalā born at Vallapura, and Rajalakshml daughter of Garga; — all perished in the fire. The Damaras believed that the snow fell on account of the accession of the new king to the the throne, and therefore named him Himarāja. [VIII(i),p.123-124]

Sussala's head brought to Bhikshu

Rajatarangini[15] tells...Bhikshu, to whom the head of Sussala was brought, viewed it with angry looks, as if he would burn it with the fire of his eyes. Koshteshvara, Jyeshtapala and others tried to perform the last rites to the remains of the late king, but Bhikshu, out of enmity to the dead, could not bear it, and prevented them from this act. ....

The corpse of the late king was impiously guarded [against cremation] by the Lavanya guards attached to Bhikshu. Sajjaka, a warrior, who lived in the city, thought of the corpse of his late master which had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and moved by gratitude, he came to Vashtuka, on the pretext of seeing the body. He defeated the guards and burnt the corpse. Sussala had destroyed many of his subjects from the year 94, under the mandates of the gods, as we learnt from those who had communion with spirits. And this was confirmed by the event which followed bis death. The man who had struck off his head, and had flourished it was found dead while sleeping. Bhikshu lost his sense of right and wrong, on account of his inhumanity. He sent the head of the late king to Rajapuri. Uchchala's daughter, Saubhagyalekha, caused those

[p.126] who had brought the head of her uncle to be killed by her followers ; and when Rajapuri became unruly, she went to her husband, Somapala, who was at a distance. The powerful lord of Khasha had, through indulgence in wine and in gross vices, become an object of pity, like a vulgar beast, and lost his senses. His courtiers acted properly or improperly without any restriction. Nagapala who lived in friendship with his brother could not brook the insult offered to the bead of his benefactor ; and farsighted men apprehended defeat from the Kashmirians and advised Nagapala to perform the last rites to his master's head. Even he who has a strong party is made helpless by Death ; when a lion is dead, the jackals laugh at him. At Gopalapura the head was burnt by the enemies with kala, aloes, sandal and pine wood. Many a time had Sussala got and lost the kingdom, many a battle had he lost and won, and many a danger had he encountered ; and his death was similarly strange. Whose remains have ever received the last rites by fire like his? The body at one place and the head at another ! [VIII(i),p.125-126]


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